“Within Arizona we’re ready to pose the question to every individual and institution, police department and school district, what side are you on?” Puente executive director Carlos Garcia wrote in an email. “SB 1070 can only function if individuals allow undocumented people to be singled out, if school districts allow their security guards to double as immigration agents, if businesses refuse to offer us safe haven, and ultimately if Obama’s administration agrees to deport whoever Arpaio turns over to ICE.”
Many casual followers of this case, State of Arizona v. United States, no doubt assume it has something to do with the rights of undocumented immigrants. As the argument made abundantly clear, it doesn’t. The question, rather, is which of two sovereigns, the United States or the state of Arizona, has the right to make the immigrants’ lives difficult.